Social Security Q&A: What Is Substantial Gainful Activity?

Question: What is substantial gainful activity? Answer: Social Security uses the term “substantial gainful activity,” or “SGA,” to describe a level of work activity and earnings. Work is “substantial” if it involves doing significant physical or mental activities or a combination of both. If you earn more than a certain amount and are doing productive work, Social Security generally considers that you are engaging in substantial...

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Money Talk: Most People’s W-4s Are ‘Wrong’

Question: After being an unmarried couple for 15 years, we were married in February 2014. Though I sent this information to my company’s benefits department, I neglected to change my W-4 status from “single” to “married.” I’m crossing my fingers that when all is said and done, we have paid the correct taxes when we filed for 2014 (we filed jointly as married) regardless of what was withheld pursuant to the W-4. Or do I need to inform...

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Social Security Q&A: Explaining Different Disability Documents

Question: What is the difference between the disability application and the disability report? Do I have to complete both? Answer: A disability application is a claim for Social Security disability benefits. A disability report provides information about your current physical or mental condition that is needed to process your disability application. To establish a claim for disability benefits, you need to file a disability...

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Money Talk: Growth Requires Accepting Some Risk

Question: What is the best way to protect my 401(k) now and in the future when I draw from it for retirement? What is the least risky place to “bank it”? I have a fear of a crashing stock market in the middle of my retirement years. Answer: The bigger risk is that the stock market will crash early in your retirement years. Starting withdrawals from a shrunken pool can dramatically increase the odds of running short of money in your...

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Employers Test Obamacare By Excluding Some Surgeries

Libbi Stovall couldn’t believe it last month when she looked at the fine print in her company’s 2016 health plan, which supposedly meets the strictest standard for employer obligations under Affordable Care Act rules. The insurance paid for inpatient hospital care, office visits and diagnostic imaging. But it provided no coverage for outpatient surgery, which accounts for two out of every three operations in the nation, according to...

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